Production continues apace on La pequeña Suiza
by Alfonso Rivera
- Basque director Kepa Sojo is winding up filming for this comedy of manners, very much an ensemble piece, about a Spanish village that wants to annex itself to prosperous Switzerland
Filming took place over the course of October and November in various locations in the Basque Country (Llodio, Artziniega, the Ayala Valley and Vitoria-Gasteiz) and in Switzerland for La pequeña Suiza [+see also:
film profile], the second feature-length film — following El síndrome de Svensson, released in 2006 — from Kepa Sojo (Álava, 1968). An ensemble comedy of manners, the film is set in a Spanish village eager to become part of a somewhat wealthier country: Switzerland. The story touches on various topical issues including identity, the rise of nationalism, cultural difference and cross-over and the preconceptions surrounding village life.
Influenced by hit films likeSpanish Affair [+see also:
film profile], Welcome to the Sticks [+see also:
film profile] and The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain, as well as classics like Welcome Mr. Marshall! and Passport to Pimlico, the film’s cast includes Maggie Civantos, Jon Plazaola, Ingrid García-Jonsson, Secun de la Rosa, Enrique Villén, Ramón Barea, Lander Otaola, Mikel Losada, Maribel Salas, Kandido Uranga, Antonio Resines and Karra Elejalde, with a special appearance from Portuguese actor Pepe Rapazote.
The film — based on a screenplay written by the director himself in partnership with Sonia Pacios — recounts the eventful tale of the inhabitants of a fictional Spanish village, Tellería, locked right in the heart of the Basque Country, which after 700 years of history wants to become part of Basque territory. When the Basque government refuses their request to join the region, an intriguing discovery in the local shrine leads the intrepid villagers to seek annexation to one of the world’s most highly developed nations: Switzerland.
La pequeña Suiza, currently in post-production, was produced by Nadie es perfecto together with Basque company Kuttuna Filmak and Portugal’s Stopline Films, with support from RTVE. It is scheduled for release on 26 April 2019, distributed by Entertainment One.
(Translated from Spanish)
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